Neil Young has released a new video, titled “Children of Destiny” that urges Americans to unite and “resist the powers that be.” This new song is Neil’s response to the current political vibe in the US, and juxtaposes typical patriotic images of the American flag waving with scenes of war and protest. Neil’s voice is unusually subdued for him, as he worries about the future of the country and the world.
Backing Neil on Children of Destiny are a 56 piece orchestra, and rockers Promise of the Real including Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas.
The video is visually and lyrically moving with lines like;
“when money matters most/and war is good for gain”
“The children hide/somewhere inside/while the bombs fall in the rain.”
Neil has been a political activist ever since his days with Buffalo Springfield and the song “For What it’s Worth”, to “Ohio” with Crosby Stills and Nash, to his “Living With War” album released in 2006. Neil’s last album “Peace Trail” released in December is another political statement.
Kathy Bates and Chuck Lorre team up to get high in a comedy series for television due this August.
Twenty episodes have been ordered by the online entertainment company Netflix.
The American Horror Story veteran and star of other frightening film roles plays a lifelong advocate for legalization, who is finally living her dream as the owner of an L.A.-area cannabis dispensary.
It seems Ruth has been a lifelong advocate for the legalization of marijuana, and she finally realizes her dream when she opens up Ruth’s Alternative Caring, a cannabis dispensary. Of course, Ruth partakes in a bit of the product herself.
Kathy Bates serving up her own head in homage to one of her many roles on American Horror Story.
Show creator Chuck Lorre (along with David Javerbaum who wrote for the “Daily Show” and “Colbert Report”) is sure to entertain the stoner in all of us with such show titles as Helium Dream, Donna Weed, Schrodinger’s Pot, Blue Dream, Eve’s Bush and 4/20 Fantasy.
The Surrealistic Summer Solstice will be held June 21 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in front of the Conservatory of Flowers. JFK Drive will be closed that day to accommodate the vendors. Dusk to midnight. Free, but tickets are already gone.
Good news for some, but there is sour grapes brewing in the City of Love by the Bay.
It was fifty years ago when free love, peace and acid ruled the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.
In that year artists, activists, writers, and musicians were all gathering with hopes of creating a new social paradigm. With as many as 100,000 young people from all over the nation, they used nearby Golden Gate Park as their playground.
When you leave Haight Street and cross into the park, the first big grassy field you find is what they call Hippy Hill now, and every April 20th there is a massive free smokeout for hippies and cannabis lovers. This year’s was bigger and happier than most, as California recently legalized cannabis for personal use by adults.
A decade ago there was a huge festival in Golden Gate Park to celebrate the Summer of Love, Paul Kantner and the Jefferson Airplane showed up and a grand party was had by all, with doves being released at 4:20 pm, It’s A Beautiful Day performed “White Bird”, and the music was fab. This year the city denied a permit to allow another celebration there.
So what else can one do to honor that time in celebration?
In San Francisco there will be an untold number of art gallery showings of photographs and other memorabilia from that time, some excellent outdoor music festivals and concerts here and there.
Running from April 8, 2017 – August 20, 2017 at the de Young Museum is The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll. Offering a collection of iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films this is something really groovy to behold. https://deyoung.famsf.org/summer-love-art-fashion-and-rock-roll
Haight Ashbury Street Fair (June 11, 2017) Since 1978, arts and crafts, food booths, three musical stages, a Family Area (Children’s Alley) and more. https://haightashburystreetfair.org/
There will be a Monterey Pop Festival celebrating 50 years since 1967 with a Three Day Music Festival Featuring Jack Johnson, Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Leon Bridges, Norah Jones, The Head and the Heart, Father John Misty, Regina and others. June 16 – 18, 2017 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds – Monterey, CA https://montereypopfestival50.com/
San Francisco Pride (June 24 and 25, 2017) over 200 parade contingents and exhibitors, and more than 20 community-run stages and venues, the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade is the largest gathering of the LGBT community and its allies in the nation. Celebrations begin on Saturday, June 24 in Civic Center Plaza. The parade, Sunday, June 25, runs from Beale Street along Market and ends at Market and 8th Streets. https://www.sfpride.org/schedule/
Kool and the Gang, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and WAR, will be performing at the Stern Grove Festival (June 25 through August 27, 2017). https://www.sterngrove.org/
The Marin County Fair (June 30 through July 4) will be once again the greenest fair on earth, this year’s theme, “Let the Funshine In” is a tribute to the Summer of Love. https://www.marinfair.org/2017
The Fillmore Jazz Festival (July 1 and 2, 2017) “is the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast, drawing over 100,000 visitors over the Independence Day weekend. From sunup to sundown, visitors can groove to the sounds of live music from multiple stages, browse the offerings of over 12 blocks of fine art and crafts and enjoy gourmet food and beverages.” https://www.fillmorejazzfestival.com/index.php
Jerry Day (August 6, 2017) is perhaps the most pertinent of the celebrations in San Francisco this year, celebrating Jerry Garcia, at The Jerry Garcia Amphitheater. https://www.jerryday.org/
The Outside Lands Music Festival (August 11 through 13, 2017) is a free outdoor scene in Golden Gate Park with music, food, wine, beer, art and comedy. https://www.sfoutsidelands.com/
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (October 6 through 8, 2017) is another free festival winding up the summer season, with seven stages of musicians playing just about everything. https://www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com/2016/schedule/
My hope is that San Francisco (and the Bay Area) always remains a safe haven of peace and love, where artists and thinkers can gather freely and creatively, especially through this summer.
Having been there, and done that, I have a few memories of the time known as the Summer of Love.
From the far distant future, 50 years later, it seems music was the most important thing to me then.
My mind was also exploring that year, it being the psychedelic era. My artistic creations of the time were mostly paisley patterns in wild colors and three dimensions with found objects. My poetry was pretty tripped out also. I had tried pot the year before and was known to nip more than a bit of table wine at dinner. In school I created a stir when asked to write a story for English class on any subject. I wrote a long piece about what I had read about people using LSD and the profound changes it had on their lives. That got me sent to the counselor and a rather severe scolding from Mom.
My defense was that the New York Times had reported Paul McCartney stating on May 1st that all four members of the Beatles have “dropped acid”.
And then I used some birthday money to buy two copies of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band at the local Caldor department store. Cousin Brucie on WABC out of New York City had played the entire album upon release June 1st. It was my friend’s birthday on June 4th so I brought it wrapped as a gift when I went to visit. I swear we nearly wore out the needle on that disk that day, endlessly replaying Sgt. Peppers until his Dad or someone complained.
But what an impression that album made!
1967 was so musical it seems every family had a garage band playing rock and roll and so many musicians seemed to reach a peak of genius that year.
In the month of May we had Electric Music for the Mind and Body from Country Joe and the Fish, Are You Experienced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Headquarters from The Monkees, and Absolutely Free by Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention – a taste of the stuff to come that summer to our ears – and minds.
June saw the momentous release of not just Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, but also amazements such as David Bowie’s eponymous first album, Moby Grape with Moby Grape, Flowers from the Rolling Stones and Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space.
In the News in June: The Six Day War in the Middle East begins, Two Moby Grape members are arrested for contributing to the delinquency of minors, Loving v. Virginia: The United States Supreme Court declares all U.S. state laws prohibiting interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.
June 16-18 was also the Monterey Pop Festival in California, which brought us acts from “The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Eric Burdon & The Animals, The Byrds, The Association, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and The Holding Company w/ Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix…55,000 are in attendance. Ravi Shankar is among the performers at the festival.” – Wikipedia
June 25 – 400 million viewers watch Our World, the first live, international, satellite television production. It features the live debut of The Beatles’ song “All You Need Is Love”.
June 27 – The world’s first ATM cash machine is installed in a Barclays Bank in England.
July got interesting with Bee Gees’ 1st from the Bee Gees, Little Games by The Yardbirds, The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion by The Incredible String Band. Canned Heat brought us the vibes of summer with Canned Heat, and Let’s Live for Today from The Grass Roots certainly voiced the spirit of the time. Of course there was the trippily inscrutable Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry, Reach Out from the Four Tops, and Triangle by The Beau Brummels.
Summer was very hot that year, and brought us more than great music, it brought riots. The Newark riots, Plainfield NJ riots, a prison riot in Jay Florida, destructive race riots in Minneapolis, and there were the 12th Street Riots In Detroit, one of the worst riots in United States history: 43 are killed, 342 injured and 1,400 buildings burned. The 1967 Milwaukee race riots lead to a ten-day shutdown of the city. In August the riots spread to DC. where they finally end that Fall.
Social change was very much on people’s minds that year, here in the US and around the world.
In August Pink Floyd released The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Zappa created Lumpy Gravy, Big Brother and the Holding Company‘s first album was released, Joan Baez sang to us on Joan, The Electric Prunes released Underground, and Vanilla Fudge was making a scene.
September of 1967 was highly creative if you know what I mean, with the Kinks’ Something Else, Strange Days by the Doors, Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant, Procol Harum got totally psychedelic on danceroom floors, and Eric Burdon and the Animals brought us The Winds of Change.
Jim Morrison gets the Doors banned forever from the Ed Sullivan Show for singing the word “higher” during a performance of “Light My Fire” despite promising being asked not to say such a drug-referenced word.
And suddenly summer was over, and the reality of the Vietnam War took hold of the consciousness of America, and the world. Once again the media changed our viewpoint. We went from happiness and love to thoughts of war with reporting by Walter Cronkite and others on the nightly news. Film footage of people being killed and burned alive was the antithesis of the hippy era and the end of the Summer of Love.
As the Haight emptied out, a mock funeral called “The Death of the Hippie” was held on October 6, 1967, with the organizer Mary Kasper explaining “we wanted to signal that this was the end of it, to stay where you are, bring the revolution to where you live and don’t come here because it’s over and done with.”
Hippies listened and spread forth to conquer the world! Many moved to communes outside the cities, and some are still living there! The Hippie Movement lives on in the spirit of many hippies old and young. Society is still absorbing the Summer of Love experience, as it slowly evolves into a more loving and inclusive world.
June 1, 2017 saw the re-release of the album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, by The Beatles, remixed and brought to hi-definition surround sound stereo.
San Francisco celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love on September 2, 2007, when over 150,000 people attended the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love concert, held in Golden Gate Park in Speedway Meadows. Performers included Country Joe McDonald, Taj Mahal, The Chambers Brothers, It’s A Beautiful Day, Ray Manzarek and others. White doves were released at 4:20 pm. It was spectacular!
Read my list of events for San Francisco this summer, 2017 by clicking here.
Solar Panels and Windmill at Solar Living Center
The Solar Living Center in Hopland, California is a fun place to explore the realities and possibilities of living off the grid, and living well.
“Promoting sustainable living through inspirational environmental education.” – John Schaeffer
John Schaeffer had recently graduated from UC Berkeley in 1978 when he started the first Real Goods store in Willits, CA. They sold the first retail solar panels in the United States.
Over the years the company grew, and he reinvested in his dream of back to the land living with the purchase in 1994 of a 12-acre property for the SLC in Hopland, CA, which grew into the Solar Living Institute (SLI) with educational workshops and solar training.
Now the place is thriving with many visitors every day to the bucolic setting along Highway 101 in Northern California’s Mendocino County. A new Observation Bee Hive has been installed in the Real Goods store and a pollinator garden was also created to help save bees from colony collapse disorder.
The Real Goods store here is filled with everything you might want to explore in the realm of living off the grid. From solar power to gardening and a treasure trove of books filled with information, this is an educational experience all unto itself, and great for the kids.
You can freely walk about the 12 acres of gardens and exhibits on a self-guided tour, visit the store, and spend some time absorbing knowledge from the many interpretive sugns and displays. Along the way you’ll see the tiny house guest cottage, and the car forest is unforgettable!
In the center of the property, by the lake under the cool shade of the Willow trees, you will find a great place to hangout with your family and friends to enjoy some peace and quiet.
2016 saw the opening of Emerald Farms Cannabis Dispensary on the site, with services for medical marijuana patients. Outside is also a nice place to get high swinging in a hammock.
But wait! There’s more!
It truly is a Solar Living center where you can see many applications of solar power, including electricity and solar water pumping.
“The electrical system for the facility comprises 10 kilowatts of photovoltaic power and three kilowatts of wind generated power. The Institute is also home to Solar 2000, one of northern California’s largest grid-tied solar arrays. Solar 2000 allows the Solar Living Institute to sell more than 160,000 kWh of clean renewable energy back into the grid annually.”
The gardens are 80% edible or useful plantings with a diversity from around the globe. Different zones represent ecosystems of other places and show how you can live sustainably through all four seasons.
Camping and RV spaces are available for visitors, and there are always volunteers, interns and students living on site year-round. In the past the Sol Festival was quite an event, but grew too large to handle at the location so it has been scaled back to a Harvest Festival which is a popular local scene.
Next time you’re driving north on the 101 in California, be sure to make the stop, it’s just before you cross the bridge and enter the tiny town of Hopland. Restrooms are unique and always open; snacks and drinks are available in the Real Goods Store during business hours.
And oh yes, they sell biodiesel fuel here!
Visit the Real Goods Store online
The institute offers IREC and NABCEP approved solar training courses from beginning to advanced levels.
There is no better place to love your brothers and sisters and mother Earth than in Black Rock City. The world’s largest Leave No Trace community is friendly and kind and welcoming to all walks of life. No one will ever turn you away when you need to take a load off in the shade or get out of the dust. A huge portion of the population carry litter bags to help keep the city clean and they do it while looking fabulous and smiling. All citizens of Black Rock City are participants, there are no tourists or spectators. The cities entire lifeline is volunteerism and gifting.
Hi Fellow Hipsters,
This is Virgin again of Ocean Beach-San Diego, CA, formerly of Santa Cruz, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Central California Coast (see my postings for these places). As a San Diegan for the last four years I can tell you that Baja California is magical and one of the best-kept secrets of hippie-oriented San Diegans. This is a brief list of some of my personal hippie-friendly highlights:
Tijuana: For Mexican spiritual flavor, check out my Ocean Beach-San Diego posting for places to check on Day of the Dead and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
There’s a groovy cafe that’s my FAVORITE secret spot in TJ so I’m not going to announce details. If you want real homegrown Mexican bohemian flavor, do some poking around to find this cafe on the beach that welcomes jamming musicians all evening on Sundays. Trust me it’ll be worth it.
Rosarito: Off the coast is awesome scuba diving at the Islas Coronadas, where you’ll also find pelican and sea lion rookeries. You can access these islands from dive outfits at Mission Beach, San Diego.
During the summer on the night of a full moon, find your way to the beach in the north part of Rosarito for “lunadas,” which are small all-night parties by chill young Tijuanenses.
La Fonda: Do a Mapquest to find this little outpost between Rosarito and Ensenada that’s popular with Gringo surfers for its consistently good, uncrowded, longboard-friendly waves.
Guadalupe Valley: Just before you get down to Ensenada, turn off to drive east on Highway 3 to get to this area, which is Mexico’s largest wine-producing area. I won’t give the details of this away, but if you do some poking around near the L.A. Cetto winery you can find your way to a very chill Kumeyaay Indian village called San Antonio Necua and nearby waterfalls and hot springs (not recommended during rainy months or for folks who don’t have a four-wheel drive).
Erendira: Between Santo Tomas and San Vicente on Highway 1 there’ll be an off-ramp at Km 78 for a potholed 12-mile road to the coast. In this little non-descript town is a very hippie-friendly hostel called Coyote Cal’s. Check out their website coyotecals.com. But be forewarned about a very bitter controlfreak ex-hippie who runs the place, and do your best to avoid this dude. Despite his bad vibes the cliente is generally cool.
Bahia de Los Angeles (a.k.a. “L.A. Bay”): Try to ignore the late-night loud Gringo sportfishing drunks and Mexican rednecks with their early morning ATVs and loud late-night Norteno music; this place is awesome for natural scenery: a spectacular sea water inlet replete with great shallow-water snorkeling, early morning feeding dolphins, huge marine mammals, and surrounded by stark desert landscapes. If you come here in mid-October you can swim with and touch harmless whale sharks, which max out at 55 feet. You can also land at nearby little islands where you can snorkel with playful sea lions and harbor seals. Totally awesome.
Laguna Manuela: This is a tiny unmarked fishing and lobstering hamlet just a few miles north of Guerrero Negro. In good conscience I can’t give you specific advice about this (which concerns U.S. laws that apply to Americans everywhere in the world), but if you happen to be in Laguna Manuela from early January to early February I strongly recommend you rent the services of a fisherman to take you out in the water to check out amazing specimens of HUGE marine creatures traveling through the bay this time of the year. Believe me you won’t regret it.
Enjoy! Or should I say, !Que lo pases bien!
Hi Fellow Hipsters,
This is Virgin of Ocean Beach, CA, formerly of SF, LA, Santa Cruz and Seattle (see my postings for these cities). If you’re new to California – welcome to my native state! One thing I totally recommend for the nature-loving hippie is the coastal drive between Santa Barbara and the Monterey Bay. I know this turf like the back of my hand, having hitchhiked this route many times and having picked up even more hitchhikers. Because there’s WAY too much to talk about in terms of highlights, please forgive a quick-and-dirty summary of the treasures I know as a native to these parts. I’ll take a south-to-north approach, from Santa Barbara to the Monterey Bay.
Arroyo Burro Beach – within Santa Barbara city limits, check out feeding dolphins here just after sunrise. Very cool.
Tajiguas Beach – unmarked surf spot about 15 miles north of Santa Barbara, on Hwy 101.
San Onofre Beach – nude beach between Refugio and Gaviota Beaches, on Hwy 101.
Gaviota hot springs – lukewarm but free and undeveloped hot springs right at the Lompoc/VAFB turnoff, on Hwy 101.
Jalama Beach – surf spot about 6 miles south of Lompoc, on PCH 1.
Guadalupe – along PCH 1, hike out to the awesome Guadalupe sand dunes via Oso Flaco Lake, which itself is an awesome wildlife viewing area at certain times of the year. The Far Western Tavern in town is a cool place to get a drink.
Nipomo – If you want a super-cheap, hippie-friendly but no-bullshit hostel to crash at, near Guadalupe, check out Bill’s Farm Hostel.
Halcyon – between PCH 1 and Hwy 101, this is a tiny artist community in a very politically conservative area, just south of Arroyo Grande, with a good-vibe general store.
Pismo Beach – on PCH 1, then on Hwy 101: I can’t in good conscience tell you a technically illegal way to access this, but find your way to the “Dinosaur Caves” during low tide; they’re very groovy especially at sunset. And near the beach border of Pismo Beach and Grover City twice a year, you can marvel to the incredible monarch butterfly migration. In nearby Shell Beach just a couple miles north of Pismo there are amazing views of colonies of wild birds on small islands just offshore.
Morro Bay – If you drive off Hwy 101 toward Morro Bay, across the road from a golf course you’ll notice an unmarked uphill road. This leads to Pirate’s Cove, a nude beach that has an awesome view of the Pismo Beach-Guadalupe area. There are two natural hot spring resorts near here – one cheap and one expensive, depending on what you want. If you like SUPER close encounters with wildlife, you can get close to California sea lions near the end of the Morro Bay pier.
Piedras Negras – on PCH 1, just a few miles away from the horrifying Hearst Castle monstrosity, in mid-January you can witness some of the most incredible wildlife viewing I’ve ever seen in the entire world (and I’ve been on five continents, including backpacking in Alaska, snorkeling and diving in the tropics in the Atlantic and Pacific, and doing safaris in East Africa): a HUGE colony of elephant seals fighting, mating and giving birth. It’s totally free, and just a few feet away from the highway.
Salmon Creek – on PCH 1, a few miles north of the “Ragged Point” tourist rest stop, which is just a little bit north of Piedras Negras: look out for the tiny sign to this at one of the many hairpin turns along the highway. It’ll be worth it. The water’s freezing but the scene is gorgeous, particularly in non-summer months (due to water flow). Nudity OK!
The “Big Sur” drive in general: Basically on PCH 1 you’ll be so blown away by infinite spectacular vistas between Ragged Point and Carmel, it’s not even worth my writing about it. You’ll need to do your own homework regarding serious meditation retreats and isolated camping beaches along this route. But here are a few major touristy suggestions for first-time visitors: the Lucia Lodge (if you have the cash); the Esalen hot springs (spectacular cliffside natural hot springs with a view of the ocean, only open 1-3 AM to the public, best on full moons); the relatively affordable upstairs cafe section of the Nepenthe Restaurant (with an amazing view, especially at sunrise); and if you’re not bugged out at paying money to drive through the neighborhood of America’s ultra-rich, the “17-Mile-Drive” in Carmel/Monterey is simply unbelievable in terms of natural beauty.
North of Monterey, feel free to check out my posting on Santa Cruz, which is one of my favorite urban environments anywhere. And north of there, check out my posting on San Francisco, which is hands-down my favorite big city on earth.
Hope you enjoy this hippie-oriented tour of my native turf! You definitely don’t need pharmaceuticals to be blown away by all the natural beauty, but as an experienced mind-expansion veteran I can tell you it doesn’t hurt!
Viroqua is 30 minutes SE of La Crosse, approximately 3.5 hours from Milwaukee and the Twin Cities, 4 hours from NW Chicagoland; just 20 minutes to the Mississippi River.
Three Chimney’s Rock Formation is just outside of Viroqua. It highlights the anchient seafloor mountain range that makes up the topography of the area.
As a fascinating aside, the entire Valley was slated to be flooded as part of a huge Army Corps of Engineers damn project. For several reasons the project was halted in 1973… now, we can enjoy the land and its spirit everyday, just as it has been for thousands of years. A large part of the Valley is permanently protected in the 8,500 acre Kickapoo Valley Reserve.
There’s much to do in Viroqua, many hidden shops and hippie hang outs but the most impressive feature of Viroqua is the alternative high school.
The old, rich soil has supported decades of farming, and has been particularly suited to organic farming. The surrounding area has become one of the most successful organic farming regions in the entire world! In fact Organic Valley / CROPP organic farming coop, located 20 minutes from Viroqua, has grown into a multi-million dollar international company!